Investor Group Including Karlie Kloss and Kaia Gerber Acquire W Magazine

by Freya Drohan

In a newly-formed venture called W Media, Bustle Digital Group will oversee sales, business, and technology for the new era of W Magazine, which has just been acquired by a group of high profile investors. Sara Moonves, the glossy’s first female editor in chief in its 50-year history, assembled the group, led by model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss. Other celebrity investors include fashion fixtures Lewis Hamilton and 18-year-old Kaia Gerber.

Kirsten Green, a venture capitalist who notably bet early on Glossier and Warby Parker, Dara Treseder, the SVP, head of global marketing and communications at Peloton, film and TV producer Jason Blum, and investment banker Aryeh B. Bourkoff are also among the investor group.

“We did it all over Zoom,” Moonves told the New York Times. “None of us even met in person.”

According to a release, the joint ownership will allow the legacy print magazine to scale rapidly in the digital space. Diversity and equality will reportedly be front and center when it comes to new content initiatives and scouting next generation talent in art, entertainment, fashion, media, and pop culture.

W is planning one print issue for the remainder of 2020, with its annual The New Originals issue also publishing in the Fall. From 2021, W will resume a regular schedule with six print issues annually.

Moonves will remain editor in chief, with Kloss will work closely alongside her to drive strategy and growth for the new venture. Meanwhile Bustle Daily Group chief executive officer Bryan Goldberg will serve as Managing Partner.

“I am so honored to continue to lead the incredible team at W,” Moonves said. “Through our amazing editorial and original content, I’m excited to engage our audience in new ways and bring new members into the fold as we expand our global footprint across the ever evolving digital media landscape while upholding W’s legacy as a foremost leader in art, culture and fashion.”

Media moves

Sara Moonves (Patrick McMullan/PMC)

“I am so honored to continue to lead the incredible team at W,” Moonves said.

“Through our amazing editorial and original content, I’m excited to engage our audience in new ways and bring new members into the fold as we expand our global footprint across the ever evolving digital media landscape while upholding W’s legacy as a foremost leader in art, culture and fashion.”

In a separate release, W Magazine unveiled dual covers for Vol. 3 The Music Issue, featuring rapper Megan Thee Stallion and pop star Dua Lipa. Saweetie, Thierra Whack, Rico Nasty, and Doja Cat will also appear in the issue, which will hit newsstands on 8/25.

The issue had been shot in March, but the magazine’s staff were all furloughed and production was halted for reasons related to the spread of COVID-19.

W Magazine, originally launched in 1972 by Fairchild Publications as a spinoff of Women’s Wear Daily, was bought by Condé Nast in 2010. It was sold to Future Media last June for a reported $7 million, prompting then-editor in chief Stefano Tonchi to resign.

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1 comment

Sheila Donnelly August 14, 2020 - 5:03 PM

I think this is just great news. I love this disruptive magazine and all its quirks and fun.

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